Cycle touring Tajikistan and especially cycling the Pamir Highway is not for the faint-hearted. The altitude means that there is less oxygen in the air. The sparse population makes that you will have to carry supplies for 3-4 days at times. And at times the road is really steep.
Traffic and roads in Tajikistan
Traffic is sparse outside of the cities, and the bad road conditions make that often trucks and cars don’t drive too fast. It does get very dusty at times, and there is always a chance for drunk drivers, which you sadly cannot arm yourself against.
The Pamir Highway is the big target for cyclists.
The Bartang Valley is a more hardcore shortcut for the Pamir Highway. Find more info on bikepacking.com, in these 2 blogs: Karakul to Rushan and Rushan to Karakul, or in the Cycling Bartang Valley thread on our forum.
North of Dushanbe, there is good mountain biking in the Yagnob valley and the Fann mountains. The Penjikent – Dushanbe road has perfect tarmac and great views. The downside is that cars drive fast because of the excellent road.
There is still doubt about the state of the Anzob pass for cyclists.
Buy, sell, rent and repair a bicycle (+ gear)
We have a forum dedicated to buying and selling bicycle (gear) while on the road. We collect information on bicycle shops in Tajikistan on the forum.
A bike shop is located on the corner of Abay street and Borbad Street (OSM). They have some decent components and spare parts, also a range of mountain and road bikes. A young mechanic by the name of Zoir is very helpful.
The manager of the Green House Hostel can get you any bike part you want sent from Moscow within 3-4 days.
Rentabike Tajikistan (+992 93 300 77 75. +992 91 720 22 20, Loik Sherali street 3, cnr with Rudaki) could also be helpful for bike repairs, spare parts, bike rental etc, and can provide you with bike boxes for putting your bike on an airplane.
The Sultoni Kabir bazaar on Karaboev Avenue has a whole section for bikes but they only sell Chinese parts.
VeloMoto shop on Abdulahab Kakharov street is regarded as not very friendly or helpful, but has a few original Shimano parts.
Recommended as a quality mechanic is Bakhrom Shodiev, who works out of his home in the west of the city and speaks good English. He has some spare parts, but as this is not his normal job, this is not a full mechanic shop. His contact details are: [email protected], +992 919163448. He will charge a fee similar to what you will pay at home, which reflects the quality so don’t expect a cheap fix.
Transporting your bicycle
If you for some reason cannot cycle any further, you will have to negotiate with the owner of a truck or pick-up truck to take you with him. Seeing how little traffic there is sometimes, you might get stuck waiting for a while. Trains are almost non-existent in Tajikistan. Big buses also do not exist, only shared jeeps and taxis and marshrutkas for shorter distances.
The plane between Khorog and Dushanbe will probably take your bicycle.